Notes: Meche on schedule for Classic

Notes: Meche on schedule for All-Star Game

KANSAS CITY -- Gil Meche's chances of pitching in the All-Star Game have improved.

Meche will start on Saturday instead of Sunday before next week's break for the Midsummer Classic on July 10 at San Francisco, Royals manager Buddy Bell said on Tuesday.

The All-Star situation wasn't the only consideration, however, by pitching against Tampa Bay on Sunday, Meche would be pitching on five days of rest instead of the usual four.

"He's been pitching an awful lot on the sixth day," Bell noted.

Six times in his 18 starts, in fact, and Bell believes Meche stays sharper with normal rest. So that's what he'll get this week.

The decision also gives Meche two days off before for the All-Star Game instead of one, meaning American League manager Jim Leyland would be more likely to use him in the game.

Jorge De La Rosa, who beat the Mariners on Tuesday night, will be the starter on Sunday against the Devil Rays. John Thomson, originally scheduled to pitch on Saturday, will be skipped in this turn of the rotation.

Blazing at-bat: Royals leadoff batter David DeJesus has been hot at bat, extending his hitting streak to 10 games in Tuesday night's 17-3 romp over the Mariners. He was hitting .289, up from .256 on June 7.

However, he had just three stolen bases in five tries. For a No. 1 hitter, he's never blossomed as a base thief.

"He's got average speed and the way these pitchers are now, they do a pretty good job of holding him when he's on base," Bell said. "It's not quite as easy as it may seem. But he's been our best offensive player all year, consistency-wise."

DeJesus' home run on Monday night was his first in 247 at-bats, a long haul.

"Hopefully, it won't take that long for another one," he said.

Royals claim pitcher: Right-hander Sean Thompson was claimed off waivers from the San Diego Padres by the Royals. Thompson was 4-7 with a 3.57 ERA in 16 starts for Double-A San Antonio. A product of Thunder Ridge (Colo.) High School, he was assigned to Triple-A Omaha. He has no Major League experience.

In Buck's seat: The Rev. Sam Sanford of Leavenworth, Kan., was in the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat on Tuesday night. Sanford, a 30-year Army veteran, founded a church in Leavenworth which provides services to active-duty soldiers and retirees. He started a program for victims of post-traumatic stress disorder that provides counseling and housing for affected veterans.

Ex-Royal joins M's: Gary Thurman, a Royals outfielder from 1987-92, was named the Seattle Mariners first-base coach on Tuesday. He also will coach the outfielders.

Thurman, 42, takes over Mike Goff's duties. Goff was named bench coach by new manager John McLaren. Thurman has been in the Mariners' organization for nine years; last year he managed Inland Empire to the Class A California League title and this year he was the organization's outfield and baserunning instructor.

Thurman didn't join the Mariners in Kansas City, however. He'll start his duties on Thursday.

Royals rundown: Left-hander John Bale gave up three runs in five innings in a rehab outing for Triple-A Omaha in a 9-6 victory over Oklahoma on Monday. Craig Brazell hit his 30th home run (23 for Omaha, seven for Wichita) and Angel Berroa had three hits and two RBIs. ... Double-A Wichita starter Dusty Hughes allowed San Antonio just one hit but walked five in his four scoreless innings in a 7-4 win. He had no-decision, but lowered his ERA to 3.66. ... Brad McCann had a home run and three RBIs in Class A Wilmington's 7-4 win over Salem. ... Brady Everett had two doubles and scored both of Class A Burlington's (Iowa) runs in a 4-2 loss to Peoria. ... Manni Juan had a three-run homer and raised his average to .382 in Idaho Falls' 12-3 romp over Ogden in Rookie Advanced play. ... David Bernat shut out Bluefield for five innings on one hit as Rookie Burlington (N.C.) won, 3-1.

Coming up: The Royals wrap up the three-game series against Seattle at 7:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium. Right-hander Brian Bannister, (5-4, 3.58 ERA) will start against Mariners left-hander Jarrod Washburn (7-6, 4.03).

There will be Fourth of July fireworks after the game.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.